Temporal styloid process

Temporal styloid process

The styloid process is pointed piece of bone that extends down from the human skull, just below the ear.


The styloid process is a slender pointed piece of bone just below the ear. It projects down and forward from the inferior surface of the temporal bone, and serves as an anchor point for several muscles associated with the tongue and larynx.

The stylohyoid ligament extends from the apex of the process to the lesser cornu of the hyoid bone, and in some instances is partially, in others completely, ossified.

A small precentage of the population will suffer from an elongation of the styloid process and stylohyoid ligament calcification. This condition is also known as Eagles Syndrome. The tissues in the throat rub on the styloid process, which is a spike-like projection sticking off the base of the skull, during the act of swallowing with resulting pain along the glossopharyngeal nerve. There is also pain upon turning the head or extending the tongue. Other symptoms may include voice alteration, cough, dizziness, migraines, occipital neuralgia , pain in teeth and jaw and sinusitis or bloodshot eyes.


The styloid process arises from endochondral ossification of the cartilage from the second branchial arch.

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